Round three of the Bupa Tasmanian State League season is likely to answer some of our burning early season questions, including whether Glenorchy are the real deal, how Clarence will respond after a week off, and whether Lauderdale are able to get on the winner’s list for the first time in 2018.
Saturday 14th April
Lauderdale v. Launceston (Lauderdale Oval) – 2:00pm
Last Time They Met: Lauderdale 12.14 (86) def. Launceston 9.8 (62) – Preliminary Final, 2017 at Blundstone Arena
Lauderdale and Launceston are two sides that have built a healthy rivalry in recent times, with the most recent example of this being the Bombers’ famous preliminary final win in 2017 to book a place in the Grand Final for the very first time.
Both sides failed to fully capitalise on home ground advantages earlier in the season, with the Blues outgunning Lauderdale in a final quarter shoot out at Lauderdale, and the Bombers returning the favour with a big win at Windsor Park later in the season.
After two disappointing losses Lauderdale will be desperate to bounce back with a victory on Saturday afternoon against the side they defeated to qualify for the 2017 TSL Grand Final.
The Bombers will head into this weekend’s match with a very different side to the one that defeated the Blues last September with injured stars Bryce Walsh, Thor Boscott and Ethan Whish-Wilson all missing and former players Dylan Fyfe, Max Kleverkamp and Toutai Havea no longer at the club.
With Lauderdale’s depth being significantly challenged early in the season, the question remains whether a new-look Lauderdale outfit will be able to dig themselves out of a 0-2 start to make an impact in 2018; although it should be remembered that last year’s grand finalists did start 2017 with a 0-3 record.
Launceston on the other hand are flying, bouncing back from a disappointing round one loss with a comprehensive dismantling of an inexperienced North Hobart side.
Lauderdale offers another challenge to the Blues, but with Mitch Thorp, Sonny Whiting and Rulla Kelly-Mansell working well inside 50 and a midfield boasting the likes of Brodie Palfreyman and Jay Blackberry, the Blues must enter this match as favourites.
Expect Ray Hill to go to Kelly-Mansell, while also keep your eyes on the midfield battle of Palfreyman, Jack Donnellan, Blackberry and Hamish Leedham against Phil Bellchambers, Nat Franklin, Robbie McManus and Haydn Smith.
Players to watch:
Tim Mosquito (Lauderdale): One of several recruits from the Northern Territory, Mosquito has immediately settled into life as a Bomber, moving between defence and offence with ease. Three goals against Glenorchy should do his confidence the world of good. Expect plenty of dash and precision kicking from the talented recruit.
Dylan Riley (Launceston): A classy user of the football, Riley has continued his impressive form as a Devonport Magpie into his time at Windsor Park, providing a steady head and precision skills to Launceston’s halfback line.
North Hobart v. Clarence (North Hobart Oval) – 2:30pm
Last Time They Met: Hobart City Demons 7.9 (51) def. by Clarence 15.16 (106) – Round 16, 2017 at North Hobart Oval
Clarence come into this clash refreshed after a week off and will be eager to hit the ground running with another victory over the Demons.
The likes of Jake Cox, Troy Cunliffe and Brady Jones stood tall for the Roos in round one, and with the likely inclusion of Jackson O’Brien this week, Clarence are only going to become tougher to play.
The Demons fought hard in round one against the Tigers but were well and truly overrun in round two by premiership fancy Launceston, begging the question as to how long this young side can apply the manic pressure that encapsulated its round one display.
Bigger bodies in the red and white should prove to be too much for the young Demons, who played nine players born in the 21st century against Launceston.
Players to watch:
William Peppin (North Hobart): 16-year-old Peppin looks to be an exciting prospect for the Demons, displaying a willingness to take the game on with dare and dash. If given the room, expect Peppin to light up the wings of North Hobart Oval.
Troy Cunliffe (Clarence): A lot was made about two-time SFL William Leitch Medallist Troy Cunliffe making the move from Lindisfarne to the TSL, and he made an immediate impact.
North Launceston v. Glenorchy (UTAS Stadium) – 2:00pm
Last Time They Met: North Launceston 9.10 (64) def. Glenorchy 8.12 (60) – Round 16, 2017 at UTAS Stadium
The match of the round for this weekend pits two modern powerhouses of Tasmanian football against each other, with both clubs desperate to continue their merry way.
North Launceston, with the 2017 premiership still fresh, appear to be as hungry as ever and will be eager to go three-zip after big wins over Launceston and the Tigers to start the season.
Coach Taylor Whitford and Josh Ponting will play key roles in the middle for the Bombers, as will Michael Tang out of defence, but plenty of Glenorchy’s focus will need to be on mitigating the influence of key forwards Zach Burt, Tom Bennett and Bart McCulloch.
Glenorchy laid down an impressive opening statement in its dismantling of Lauderdale in round one, with established stars Jaye Bowden, Brayden Webb and Rhys Mott combining well with returning stars Mitch Walker and Daniel Joseph, and young guns Callen Daly and Jye Bearman.
Keep your eyes on the ruck battle between Bomber Alex Lee and Magpie Cameron Duffy, with two of the best big men in the state going head to head set to be an enthralling contest.
It’s hard to go past the Bombers in this one, but with Glenorchy’s healthy mix of hard nuts and prime movers through midfield, Paul Kennedy’s side are certainly capable of causing a boil over.
Players to watch:
Sherrin Egger (North Launceston): The former Devonport defender has impressed in his first two games as a Bomber, never shirking from the contest and using the ball well out of defence. A key inclusion to this North Launceston side for 2018.
Callen Daly (Glenorchy): After playing some solid games last season, Daly’s first outing for the year has seen him take his game to another level. Daly goes in hard for the ball, uses it well and can hit the scoreboard, kicking three against Lauderdale.
HOW TO FOLLOW – BUPA TSL ROUND 3
Don’t miss a moment of what promises to be an exciting round three of the Bupa TSL season.
Saturday 14th April
Lauderdale v Launceston – Lauderdale Oval (2:00pm)
North Launceston v. Glenorchy – UTAS Stadium (2:00pm)
In Launceston and the Tamar Valley audio commentary can be heard on City Park Radio 103.7 FM and 96.5 FM and online here.
North Hobart v. Clarence – North Hobart Oval (2:30pm)